Why John Mayer's 'Daughters' is the Worst Song Ever

john-mayer-guitar-face-20.jpeg
A face only a mother could love. Well, and Katy Perry, apparently.
I have three daughters. I love and adore my three daughters. If it were possible, I would move heaven and Earth for my three daughters. I hate the song "Daughters" by John Mayer.

See also: The greatest song of all time

Every year, I take my oldest two children to a father-daughter dance where there are three things I can count on with absolute certainty: a brave soldier falling down while attempting the Limbo, a Dad's hula hoop contest that lasts only slightly longer than a sneeze, and slow dancing to "Daughters". Instead of feeling the swell of emotions the song is supposed to evoke, I suffer through those four torturous minutes, looking forward to better times of sliding, both cha-cha and electric.

I will confess that I am not a fan of any of John Mayer's music. While it would be foolish to deny his talent as a guitarist, I find his vocals shoddy and his songwriting desperately lacking (exhibit A: "Your Body is a Wonderland"). I am less a fan of Mayer himself. In spite of his leading man looks, fame, success and fortune, he carries himself publicly like the rich, entitled, jerky character from any John Hughes movie. Yes, his list of former love interests is impressive, but the manner in which he discusses them publicly is loathsome. Getting on the wrong side of America's former (Jennifer Aniston) and current (Taylor Swift) sweethearts doesn't make him any more likeable either.

"Daughters" is a sparse song with Mayer singing unaccompanied over light acoustic guitar and piano. This places all the focus on the vocals, which is not a good thing. Mayer's raspy, whispery voice has an unmistakable "hey, kid, want some candy?" quality to it which ratchets the creepiness of the song up to a full 11. A song that should be about something as pure and unquestionably noble as fathers loving and cherishing their daughters should not sound like it emanates from a man on the edge of the bed with his shirt half-unbuttoned. Taken in this context, the overriding point of the song seems to be for fathers to treat their daughters well for no other reason than to stop sending pre-screwed up girls into his life. Mayer would rather screw them up all by himself.



Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
25 comments
vicnalvarez
vicnalvarez

The guy who wrote this article is a complete dumbass.. Why don't you firstly read the lyrics and not make assumtions... Yes John Mayer does not have any daughters, but he isn't saying he does.. 


"I know a girl, She puts the color inside of my world.... And i've done all I can.. But shes a maze, where all of the walls continually change... Maybe it's got nothing to do with me" 


"Fathers be good to your daughters"... It's obvious from the lyrics that their are girls who are insecure with men.. And if you know anything.. If you love your daughter the way you're supposed to, she will look for a man that treats her the same way.

averagejoseph
averagejoseph

I must say, I completely disagree not only about your analysis of "Daughters," but also about your analysis of Mayer's writing.  There aren't many current songwriters who can turn a phrase quite like he can.  One of my favorite lines comes from "Face to Call Home": 

"You know my paper heart, the one I fill with pencil marks.  I think I might have gone and inked you in."


Brilliant.  To me, he's one of the great modern songwriters.  You're wasting an awful lot of energy hating a pretty good song as well as a really good songwriter.

jonathanpullen
jonathanpullen

What's funny to me is that every other sound you list as bad, I like. I think what bothers me about daughters is 


1) It encourages gender inequality, even to the point of saying it is okay to abuse boys, but not girls. "Boys you can break.. find out how much they can take.."


2) It seems to have the basic assumption that the only path forward for females is to have children "Girls become lovers, who turn into mothers.."


3) Something just seems *wrong* about it beyond that. 

caroline1994
caroline1994

I'm pretty sure if you got off your high horse and read the lyrics from an outsider perspective, you'd realise he wrote this song about falling in love with a girl that has insecurities about men in her life as they presumably leave.

jmcgreevy25
jmcgreevy25

not liking his voice is one thing but criticizing his songwriting is another. have you ever listened to continuum? that album is one of my favorites. literally every song on that album is amazing. the fact that you named a song from like 12 years ago shows you know nothing about his songs as of recent. artists change.  

sheesh
sheesh

Oh brother!  If you're a good dad, the song isn't about you, doi.

Jennifer Otten-Hanlon
Jennifer Otten-Hanlon

I'm Yours - Jason Mraz...gives me the urge to stab myself with a rusty spoon :'(

Jay Dee
Jay Dee

Farmer's Daughter - Rodney Atkins.

Jonathan Tavaris
Jonathan Tavaris

Though if "songwriting abomination" refers to an entity rather than a single song, I gotta go with Aerosmith too. Goddamn do I hate Aerosmith.

Jonathan Tavaris
Jonathan Tavaris

That maddening, sing-songy "you had a bad day" song that's inescapable on lite FM stations. Oh how I despise it.

Seth Hicks
Seth Hicks

"The Stroke" by Billy Squire. All bad songs pale in comparison to the Stripper National Anthem.

Sven White
Sven White

Nickelback - Figured You Out. "I like the powder on your nose," and it just gets worse...WAY worse.

Velma Mata
Velma Mata

Do You really want to hurt me by Culture Club. Dreadful.

Madeline Grace
Madeline Grace

Shook Me All Night Long and Don't Stop Believing. Hate them!!

Jason Kramer
Jason Kramer

Horse With No Name by America... total waste.

Daniel Stout
Daniel Stout

Anything by Taylor Swift!!! People brag on her writing her own stuff. I could write garbage!

Leslee Brown
Leslee Brown

Having my baby by Paul Anka, I could spend all day on this LOL

Jeff Furlow
Jeff Furlow

Bad to the Bone by George Thorobad, I mean Thorogood. Oh, and Taking Care Of Business by B.T.O. This could be a long list.

Casey Govero
Casey Govero

mmmm mmm mmm by crash test dummies. I've always hated that song.

Isaac James
Isaac James

Dammit Matthew - you beat us to it! Friday is HORRIBLE.

Matthew Ingmire
Matthew Ingmire

Rebecca Black's Friday and anything done by Justina Beaver.

jcom154
jcom154

I agree. I think that his whole image is just that an image that has been out out there to make him look like a womanizer. He never looks comfortable in any pics of him with any of those high profile ladies he suppossedly dated. May be he isn't but I wouldn't be suprised at all if he was.

Now Trending

St. Louis Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Clubs

Loading...